Money makes the world go ’round, they say. But you know what’s better than gobs and gobs of money? Lifestyle. You might frivolously spend your hard-earned riches and whittle them down to nothing, but at least you’ve got the yacht to show for it.
Get Rich Quick is a game not just about accruing money, but claiming fortune.
How It Plays
Fortune is the name of the game, or rather, Fortune Points. Accrue 25 of them to win the game!
Each player has a hand of 7 cards, the same 7 cards that every other player has. From these cards, each player simultaneously and secretly chooses 3. When everyone is ready, the chosen cards are flipped up and resolved in order from 1 to 7 as follows:
- Work: You earn $1000
- Invest in Penny Stocks: Pay $1000, then earn $3000 as long as at least 1 other player did not play this card
- Invest in Real Estate: Pay $2000, then earn $6000 as long as at least 2 other players didn’t play
- Launch a Start-Up: Pay $3000, then earn $10,000 as long as you are the only player to play the card.
- Lottery: Pay $1000 and roll 5 dice. Roll a triple or better to earn $$ back (up to $30k for 5-of-a-kind)
- Shop: Buy buildings on the board or extra cards for your hand
- Take a Break: Earn 1 Fortune point.
The board houses a number of upgrades available for purchase. When you buy, you place a meeple of your color in an available slot; once the slots are full, that upgrade is no longer available. These upgrades come in a variety of forms; increasing your payout for working, decreasing the cost of failed investments, bumping up your odds in the lottery, or straight up buying chunks of Fortune Points. You can also make your Take a Break card give you more points, or gain the ability to play 4 cards instead of 3.
In addition to the board, extra copies of the Work, Lottery, and Take a Break cards are available. Adding these to your hand allows you to play the card multiple times in the same turn.
The game ends at the end of the round when someone reaches 25 points. If multiple players can reach 25 in the same turn, whoever has the most wins the game. Ties are broken by total money in hand.
For Richer or Poorer?
Get Rich Quick is an ugly-looking game.
Just putting that out there right away. It looks like an old fashioned, cheaply made Wal-Mart game for people who believe Monopoly is the pinnacle of tabletop gaming experiences. The paper money is cheap and thin and exactly like Monopoly money. The design is plain, and by today’s hobby gaming standards, childish.
I spoke to people from FoxMind Games about this, and apparently the design was intentional. It looks like that so as not to be intimidating to non-gamers. To trick them, as it were, into playing something deeper and more complex than the stuff they’re used to, by looking easy and light and…
Well, let’s just say I’m not sure this was the best design choice. The design is more likely to turn off the hobby gamers who would otherwise give it a shot and then bring it to their non-gaming friends and family. Did the plan work? Have non-gamers picked this game off the shelf at a Barnes & Noble? Can the publisher publisher correlate any successful sales to the design? I don’t know.
Okay, moving on. Enough about the view. Because once you get past that? Baby, you got a stew going.
And by that I mean the bones of the game are pleasant, interesting, and even fascinating. For sure, the game falls in the gateway category, as intended, but there’s some depth to it, and plenty to explore. It just plays so easily and quickly, and it’s easy to explain that you can get people right into it.
You won’t have trouble finding a few different strategies to employ. You can try to gun your way for the one-time blocks of Fortune Points at the center, or play it slow and steady earning less cash but making sure to Take a Break every turn. You can fortify your Work card with promotions, or go all out with the Lottery and hope your odds pan out over time. I almost never use the Start Up card, but I’ve seen some people use it all the time, and we both have managed to do very well for ourselves.
The best way to play is with the full complement – 5 players. I think the cards are balanced particularly for that (even though it does work at lower counts), but it also forces you to make better strategic choices. The real estate on the board is a whole lot more open with 4 players, tempting you to try and get A Lot Of Things when you could really reach the winning score more efficiently. With 5 you have no choice but to pick your battles.
Since everyone plays simultaneously, the game flies by quickly, lasting just as long as it should. That’s true even if you have 5 players; although, you do have to make sure you keep things orderly. People get excited about grabbing the money they earned and heading to the shop, but the things one player does can effect the others, so it’s best to keep everyone stepping through the turn one card at a time.
But that brings me to another point – there’s a satisfying amount of non-aggressive interaction between players. You can’t steal anyone’s money or destroy their upgrades, but if too many people play the Invest cards, it causes problems. However, since it causes problems for all the players who played it, it’s pretty dang hard to intentionally spite other players – only if you’re intentionally sabotaging the game entirely. If you’ve got a player like that? Send them to play video games.
The other interaction point is the board, of course; anything you take, someone else might not be able to take. Like I said, though, there are a number of viable paths to victory, so you’ve got to make strategic choices, take risks, and hope you can out play your opponents.
I will say, Get Rich Quick does follow a somewhat predictable “arc” each game. In the beginning things start off a little rough. People just need cash, and at first the only way to get it is with those cards 1-5. A lot of them will fail, and while that’s just part of the game it may cause slight frustration with inexperienced players. I have seen people recover from horrible early turns to win the game or come in close second. But as the game goes on, players diverge in their chosen strategies. Purchases are made, and eventually players have their own unique path of scoring money. At that point very few investments or start-ups fail.
Still, it’s a quick game. Even if the game usually ends with 2 people fighting for the win and everyone else is far behind, you haven’t invested a whole afternoon. You can easily play a second game to try and do better, and learn from your previous mistakes. I’ve seen some surprise comebacks, so nothing is over til it’s over.
My only other complaint about this game is in some of the “user interface” design choices. The board – imagery aside – is pretty awful, as you can only read 1/4 of it from any given position. It’d be nice if everything was at least facing the same direction. I can read upside down if i need to, but I always have to strain to change the angle i’m reading from. I also dislike the use of the action term “Invest” on two of the cards, when every other card has its own unique verb. It’s a minor thing, but it makes it slightly more difficult to reference the two different Invest cards which you have to do every single turn.
Minor complaints. This is a light economic game, not a meaty experience you’ll want to dig into again and again to explore every corner. It’s extremely easy to teach, and for a game of its complexity still has plenty of strategy to explore and lots of interesting choices. It keeps everyone involved til the last moment, and lasts just as long as it should. It’s definitely a game you can bring to non-gamers and encourage them to try.
And who knows? Maybe the friendly, easygoing visuals will speak to them instead of scaring them off.
iSlaytheDragon would like to thank FoxMind for providing a review copy of Get Rich Quick.